Lifeguards and law enforcement in bay county and panama city beach are getting thousands of dollars in reimbursements for their hard work.
Last year, bay county commissioners approved a resolution that allows 10 percent of bed tax funds, or the first two pennies of bed tax funds, to go toward public safety.
Now, over the fiscal year, the Tourist Development Council (TDC) collected $775,000, which will be divided up between the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, Panama City Beach Police, and county and city lifeguards.
The city lifeguard program will get back $125,000, while the county lifeguard program will get back $193,750.
TDC president, Dan Rowe, said the remaining 59 percent of the funds will go to law enforcement.
“The Sheriff’s Office will receive $193,750 for its purposes, and Beach Police will receive $262,000 to really help the increase costs of visitation to the beach.”
Bay, Okaloosa and Walton County are the only counties with the ability to use bed tax funds for public safety.